New social housing in Montreal for those struggling with mental health
Posted February 9, 2024 12:48 pm.
Last Updated February 9, 2024 6:25 pm.
A new 37-unit building was inaugurated in Montreal for low-income residents who are struggling with mental health.
The government of Canada, Quebec, City of Montreal and Maison St-Dominique all contributed to Maison Shelley at a cost of $18 million.
It’s located in the Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension borough.
“Our contribution to this project has made it possible to create 37 new housing units that will make a difference for the people of Saint-Michel,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a press release.
This project provides residential stability which is a key element in reducing the risks for those who need help and offers better conditions to help them overcome or treat their physical or mental health problems, which are often at the root of social cohabitation issues.
“Whenever you have issues if you have difficulties – be it with income tax, being with tickets from the police, being difficulties with dealing with your medication, or you need access to bien aide social, whatever – the caseworker’s job, is to help you navigate through everything that is life,” said Maison Saint-Dominique deputy director, Hélène Hekpazo.
Residents living at Maison Shelley will also receive a rent supplement from the Quebec government, which will allow them to pay 25 per cent of their income for housing.
“[It] really works as a ordinary apartment building , so you pay your rent. There are subsidies to the total of rent that you’re supposed to pay. So usually they pay around 25 to 30 per cent of their yearly income, so it can vary from month to month,” Hekpazo added.
This represents an investment of more than $636,000, 90 per cent of which will be paid by the AccèsLogis Québec program of the Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ) and 10 per cent by the City of Montreal.
“These people will be able to access various services adapted to their reality, including permanent social housing, as well as psychosocial and long-term support,” said the Quebec Minister responsible for Social Services Lionel Carmant.
The construction of this project began in April 2022.
“The idea is that you move here to stay here just like any other person. You find an apartment, you like it, you want to live here. You can live here until you’re sick of us,” Hekpazo said.
“This project is the culmination of two years of work that led to the construction of 37 social housing units that will offer care adapted to meet the needs of people living with mental health issues, while respecting their ability to pay. The Maison Shelley is a concrete solution to complex problems,” said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante.